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The Mists of Avalon (Mists of Avalon 1) by…
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The Mists of Avalon (Mists of Avalon 1) (original 1982; edition 2008)

by Marion Zimmer Bradley

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
11,917222221 (4.11)2 / 546
This book was a bit weird for me. I know the general legend of Arthur and I know that it doesn't end well. So going into a book, knowing that the ending isn't happily ever after made the book hard to read. I would read 20-30 pages (then I'd be busy at work again), and I'd set it down. And every time I picked it up, I would be slightly reluctant to start reading again because, again, I know the ending. But every time I start reading it, I get completely immersed in the story to a point where I wouldn't want to put it down. The book was a big tug-o-war for me but I can truly say that this book is one of a kind.

Bradley shows such REAL feelings in her characters. You find greed, lust, ambition, love...This truly is such a well rounded story that I think it would appeal to any type of reader. Bradley creates a beautiful layout of the land and of Avalon, so much so that you can see it in your mind and believe that you are there.

This was definitely a story of EPIC proportions. I hope they make an epic movie out of this like Lord of the Rings ;) ( )
  Danielle.Montgomery | Apr 19, 2012 |
English (203)  Dutch (9)  German (3)  Italian (3)  Spanish (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  French (1)  All languages (221)
Showing 1-25 of 203 (next | show all)
This is a very female version of the Arthurian tales. It is largely sympathetic to Morgan la Fey and the culture of the Druids and unsympathetic to Christianity. Magic was used surprisingly successfully throughout the story. This version was successful in making the characters seem more complex and realistic and less focused on the buffets on the head that seem to be ever-present in the Malory version. I also enjoyed the aspects of these tales that are less discussed in other versions, such as the magical boat and the semi-present Avalon. One aspect I didn't fully understand was the fairy land characters occasionally encountered when trying to reach Avalon. Other details of the relationship between Lancelot, Gwen, and Arthur were a surprise but were not inconsistent with reality as presented in this version. Overall this is an interesting addition to the Arthurian legends. ( )
  karmiel | Jul 29, 2015 |
One of my all time favourite books! A must read for anyone who enjoys Arthurian legend. I don't believe the popularly held theory that it's a "woman's book.
  Avalon59 | Jul 27, 2015 |
One of my top 5 favorite books of all time! ( )
  jenladuca | May 22, 2015 |
Mists of Avalon-Mistress of Magic is the first of the Avalon series that presents the legend of King Arthur, retold through the eyes and lives of the women who wielded power from behind the throne. In this first book, the tale is told primarily from the points of view Morgaine, (Morgana Le Fey), Priestess of Avalon, Viviane, The Lady of the Lake (and Morgaine’s aunt and mentor) and Igraine (the mother of both Artj=hur and Morgaine). The author presents the story of Morgaine from childhood to Priestess in her home on the Isle of Avalon, the center of Druidism and goddess worship. This is also the story of the political and religious conflict between the new Christianity and the "old ways" of goddess worship. Believers of each religion seek to control the throne. I found the novel interesting, presenting a new perspective on the Arthurian legend, and particularly of the character of Morgan Le Fey. I look forward to reading the other books in the series. 3 ½ out of 5 stars. ( )
  marsap | May 4, 2015 |
Ah. I was so looking forward to reading this book as I've been wanting to get my teeth in to some Arthurian Legend for a long time now. It was also quite interesting to see it from Morgan le Fey's P.O.V. (and other women besides) but the writing was just terrible and it was so slow and rather predictable. It was less Classic Arthurian Legend re-telling and more self-indulgent FanFic. ( )
  Xleptodactylous | Apr 7, 2015 |
Notes for the reader: The first hundred pages has a plot. The other 500 hundred are sex scenes smeared with talk of sex and no remaining plot. By page 250, every paragraph is about sex. The plot is lost.
It destroys any beauty in ancient myths and legends. If you enjoyed King Author's myths and histories, don't read this! At least she changed the names a bit, so maybe people can re-read the King Author stories without the taste of bile in their mouths.
Just because it's popular to write mixed gender porn, doesn't mean it's necessary.
It would have been nice to read a novel from the females of the time's point of view. They thought about far more than sex!

What ages would I recommend it too? Only those who are comfortable reading about sex, rape, and incest.

Length? Many days.

Characters? Memorable, several characters.

Setting? Fantasy.

Written approximately? 1982.

Does the story leave questions in the readers mind? This book return to the used books store.

Any issues the author (or a more recent publisher) should cover? Find the plot. Reduce the sex scenes to the minimum necessary. Allow the characters to be believable.

Short storyline: Females in King Author's life and their porn tales.

( )
  AprilBrown | Feb 25, 2015 |
I liked this very much when I read it; Bradley did a masterful job with the legend. ( )
  AntT | Jan 24, 2015 |
I liked this very much when I read it; Bradley did a masterful job with the legend. ( )
  AntT | Jan 24, 2015 |
While I used to love this book, since learning about [a:Marion Zimmer Bradley|4841825|Marion Zimmer Bradley|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1305483488p2/4841825.jpg]'s long history of participating and supporting child molestation and abuse, I don't think I'll ever be reading this again.
You can read more of my thoughts on this (and links to the abuse stuff) here: www.ravenoak.net ( )
  kaonevar | Nov 12, 2014 |
I'm not an obsessive Authurian. I like the explainations for how the story I know will come to be. I loved the first third. I love strong heroines. But I'm half way through and lagging. I despise Gwen's character. I want her replaced. She's so awful. It's a struggle knowing she won't die soon enough. But I'm trudging through hoping for a change and it'll pick back up as they focus on someone else.

EDIT: Disgusted after finding out how the author helped cover for her pedophile husband. There goes any feminism left. Ugh. ( )
  sambadoll | Nov 5, 2014 |
The Arthurian legend from the perspective of the women. Morgaine of the Fairies is the misunderstood heroine. Perhaps the most surprising aspect is the menage a trois with Arthur, Gwen and Lance. And Gwen is such a whiner! ( )
  AliceAnna | Oct 22, 2014 |
This story was the start of the Arthurian tale - the marriage of Igraine of Avalon to Uther Pendragon. Igraine's daughter by a Roman duke, Morgaine is sent to Avalon while her son Arthur is guarded against injury so that he can grow to become the high king. An interesting concept of the myth. ( )
  cyderry | Oct 7, 2014 |
Life-altering. ( )
  KRaySaulis | Aug 13, 2014 |
Second (technically third) of my summer rereads. Man I got 500 pages into this and decided I'd had enough. As someone who loves both epic fantasy as well as the musical "Camelot," I truly wanted to like this, but couldn't get past how dull and terrible the writing was. Characters whims and beliefs change from page to page, and the main struggles of faith in the book get dragged on through tedious and repetitive conversations. Also, Bradley had very little idea how to authentically create characters (if I had to read one more time that Morgaine performed this or that task as "befitted a high priestess of Avalon" I thought I was going to hurl my book across the room. At page 500, I should know something like this about a character without it being added on to her every word and action).
Bla
onto something more fulfilling! ( )
1 vote abbeyhar | Jul 23, 2014 |
Second (technically third) of my summer rereads. Man I got 500 pages into this and decided I'd had enough. As someone who loves both epic fantasy as well as the musical "Camelot," I truly wanted to like this, but couldn't get past how dull and terrible the writing was. Characters whims and beliefs change from page to page, and the main struggles of faith in the book get dragged on through tedious and repetitive conversations. Also, Bradley had very little idea how to authentically create characters (if I had to read one more time that Morgaine performed this or that task as "befitted a high priestess of Avalon" I thought I was going to hurl my book across the room. At page 500, I should know something like this about a character without it being added on to her every word and action).
Bla
onto something more fulfilling! ( )
  abbeyhar | Jul 23, 2014 |
Second (technically third) of my summer rereads. Man I got 500 pages into this and decided I'd had enough. As someone who loves both epic fantasy as well as the musical "Camelot," I truly wanted to like this, but couldn't get past how dull and terrible the writing was. Characters whims and beliefs change from page to page, and the main struggles of faith in the book get dragged on through tedious and repetitive conversations. Also, Bradley had very little idea how to authentically create characters (if I had to read one more time that Morgaine performed this or that task as "befitted a high priestess of Avalon" I thought I was going to hurl my book across the room. At page 500, I should know something like this about a character without it being added on to her every word and action).
Bla
onto something more fulfilling! ( )
  abbeyhar | Jul 23, 2014 |
The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley is an Arthurian tale told from the perspective of women, including King Arthur's mother, aunts, sister, and wife. The story tells about their lives and their struggles, hardships, and romances both before and after the birth of King Arthur and the various ways they plot and participate in shaping the future of their kingdom. This is a very long and slow paced book, but I didn't find it at all tedious to read, which is more than I can say for other books in this series. I enjoyed nearly every minute of reading this book from start to end, and when it was over I felt such longing wanting to read more. I thought that most of the characters were very well done and had lots of depth to them. I especially connected with the character of Morgaine, the narrator and King Arthur's sister, and felt she was a kindred spirit, or as much of one as a book character can be. I also really connected to the spirituality of this book and many of the pagan beliefs described resonate closely with my own eclectic spiritual beliefs. This is definitely one of my favorite books and it will always hold a special place in my heart. I'd definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Arthurian fiction or medieval fantasy.



It is not necessary to read any of the other books in Bradley's Avalon series to enjoy this book, though the other books do give a lot of background history to Avalon and even to some of the characters in this book. If you want to read the other books in the series and want to read them chronologically as I did, then The Mists of Avalon should be the last book you read. If you prefer to read the books in publication order, then start with this book and work your way back chronologically.



I re-watched the made for TV movie after I finished reading the book and thoroughly enjoyed it despite the fact that there were many changes. I would say that the movie stayed fairly true to the first half of the book, but the movie changed and left out a lot of things from the second half of the book. Also some of the characters were altered and were nastier than they were in the book and things like that. There were a lot of instances where I could see why things needed to be changed or removed for the movie format, but there were some parts of the book that I really wish had been included in the movie. I suppose if they had included all of the stuff they left out, the movie would have been twice as long as it was. It's still a great movie though and I'm able to enjoy it in and of itself. ( )
  Kythe42 | Jul 17, 2014 |
I may give up on this. I like the beginning, to a point. I did not love it, but it was OK. I enjoyed the thought of the Arthur legends from a new perspective. The beginning had a lot of female empowerment and strong positive depictions of old pagan beliefs. I did like the portrayal of females under the pagan system over the christian system, but really enjoy depictions of the old pagan religions. Halfway through the second part, I hate it. It has become more about religion than anything. I fucking hate Guinevere and wish nothing but the worst on this incarnation of that character. The ignorant hate of everyone around her is what the ENTIRE second part is about. I am sick of it. The story seems to be going nowhere and it is becoming a chore to get through. At first it made me irritated with Christianity (not being a Christian, it really wasn't that tough) but then I just started to get annoyed with the author who was clearly pushing an agenda. If in the next chapter she doesn't calm down a bit, it am giving up. ( )
1 vote sffstorm | Jun 9, 2014 |
Truly a masterpiece. Though it took me a few weeks to get through, I truly felt the characters were real, and their struggles touched me deeply. I disliked Gwenhywfar's piousness, yet, at the same time, I could not truly hate her, nor any of the other characters because they were not just characters, but actual humans with their own problems.



It was written so beautifully, with such detail and care to weaving continuity throughout the piece. I highly recommend this book to any and all Camelot fans, because, despite its length, it was a true masterpiece.



I spent the last fifty pages sobbing, touched by how all the characters had sought one thing their entire lives only to discover they had wasted their entire lives. Nothing they planned came to fruition, and their pride had led, ultimately, to their downfall. Lancelot and Gwenhwyfar had each other, but they were not what they wanted, Morgaine never truly restored Avalon, Arthur never had his true love or his heir, and all came to naught. ( )
  liveshipvivacia | Apr 26, 2014 |
Truly a masterpiece. Though it took me a few weeks to get through, I truly felt the characters were real, and their struggles touched me deeply. I disliked Gwenhywfar's piousness, yet, at the same time, I could not truly hate her, nor any of the other characters because they were not just characters, but actual humans with their own problems.



It was written so beautifully, with such detail and care to weaving continuity throughout the piece. I highly recommend this book to any and all Camelot fans, because, despite its length, it was a true masterpiece.



I spent the last fifty pages sobbing, touched by how all the characters had sought one thing their entire lives only to discover they had wasted their entire lives. Nothing they planned came to fruition, and their pride had led, ultimately, to their downfall. Lancelot and Gwenhwyfar had each other, but they were not what they wanted, Morgaine never truly restored Avalon, Arthur never had his true love or his heir, and all came to naught. ( )
  liveshipvivacia | Apr 26, 2014 |
The Mists of Avalon, as you’ve likely guessed, is a retake on the King Arthur legends, but what makes it different is that it’s written from the women’s perspectives (Morgaine, Guinevere, etc.). The first one was written by Marion Zimmer Bradley in 1983 and this was the first time this feminist technique was used in fantasy literature and it was very successful (I learned that when I took a Modern Scholar course in fantasy literature).

The Mists of Avalon is beautifully written, but slow-paced, and I often wished the story would move faster. Since the women characters are the focus, there’s not much action (except traveling). The chicks themselves aren't fighting a lot of Saxons. Also, there’s a major emphasis on the dissolution of the pagan religi... Read More: http://www.fantasyliterature.com/reviews/the-mists-of-avalon/ ( )
  Kat_Hooper | Apr 6, 2014 |
When I first read this book I really liked it. The Camelot legend has always fascinated me and this version, with its focus on Viviane, Morgaine and Gwenhwyfar, appealed to me. Now, after having been captured by the BBC series Merlin - which is brilliant! - I read The Mists of Avalon again. What a bitter disappointment. It didn't live up to my previous high rating at all. Long, repetitive, boring, pretentious, totally lacking in humour... What was still interesting was the conflict with the Christians but the insistence that all the gods and goddesses really are one God after all was just so ho hum. Gwenhyfar was unbearable, Arthur a wimp, Merlin a goody two shoes. Only Morgaine was of some interest but, oh how it dragged out. Now I just want to watch the BBC series again to get back into the enthrallment of Merlin, Morgana, Arthur and Gwen. If you haven't seen the series, see it! If you haven't read the book, don't bother. ( )
1 vote rubyjand | Apr 4, 2014 |
The tale of King Arthur, Queen Guinevere and Sir Lancelot, told from the point of view of the Women of Avalon: Morgause, Morgaine, Elaine and Viviane. ( )
  harrietbrown | Mar 22, 2014 |
This was on my summer reading list for my freshman year of high school. I remember that I felt like it was my first exposure to King Arthur. I also thought it was a little racy for freshmen, but maybe I was naive! ( )
  scote23 | Dec 26, 2013 |
Another book I just could not finish....maybe there was too much romance for me? ( )
  Becky221 | Nov 4, 2013 |
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